Our students don’t want to wait for graduation to become involved in the world around them. As an urban institution immersed in the city of Chicago and in creative industries nationally, we want our students to engage beyond the boundaries of the campus to test their actions, beliefs and values in the world. Community engagement will be embedded in experiential learning modules, academic coursework, and multiple experiential learning opportunities created in collaboration with community partners. New models of institutional support and recognition will support faculty whose teaching, creative practice and scholarship are rooted in community-based topics.
In order to best determine how Columbia will sustain and support diverse forms of community-engaged teaching, creative practice and scholarship, we must clarify definitions. As a first step, the Community Engagement implementation committee undertook a campus-wide survey to help establish a baseline understanding of the innovative work our faculty and students are already doing.